10 small business tasks transformed by technology, and the best tools for the job
If you’re flat chat running a small business, then it’s high time to say goodbye to long lists scrawled in notebooks, or messy spreadsheets full of inaccurate information. Instead, say hello to time-saving, business-boosting tools and technologies that help you work smarter than ever.
Here are ten tasks that become so much easier with today’s readily available tech tools.
1. Project management
Need a better way to keep track of all the projects currently underway in your business? Finding it hard to keep track of who needs to do what, and when? Whether you run a marketing agency or a construction company, there are project management tools to suit every style of business. By taking everything online and into the cloud, you can assign tasks to team members, hit your deadlines, and stick to budgets – wherever you are.
Ditch the calculator. Crunching the numbers and balancing the books is so much easier when you’ve got a powerful accounting platform in your back pocket. Hook your platform up with your business bank account so that all money coming in and going out of your business is automatically tracked. Run reports to check your monthly or quarterly performance against targets. And make tax-time so much easier for you and your accountant with everything ready to go.
3. Team collaboration
Gone are the days of hanging by the office water cooler to chat with colleagues, or clogging up employees’ email inboxes with every little message. Open up easy channels of communication between colleagues, and put the power of digital collaboration to work with a platform designed to help today’s work get done, and tomorrow’s new ideas to flourish.
4. Email marketing
Email is an invaluable addition to your marketing toolkit – it’s a trusted channel to send promotional materials, product news, and more to your customers. And, these days, to get your marketing messages out to the masses, you need the right tool for the job. Choose a platform that makes it easy to customise to suit your brand, plus one that provides powerful tracking and reporting features so you can easily see what’s working, and what’s not.
5. Electronic signature
Are you using e-signatures to their full potential to save your business time and money, and to make life a whole lot easier for your customers? Gone are the days of posting or faxing your business agreements out for signing. Today’s customers expect forms to be sent straight to their inbox or their mobile phone, and want the ability to fill out these forms in a few taps or clicks – no pen or paper in sight. Making the switch to e-signature is easy, and it delivers a whole bunch of other business benefits, like ID verification, AI-powered contract analysis, SMS delivery, and more.
Our top pick (naturally): DocuSign eSignature
Give your prospective and existing customers the attention they deserve by managing customer relationships like a pro. How? With a CRM tool that helps you manage leads, build your pipeline, seal more deals, streamline customer onboarding, and more. Today’s CRM tools have all the digital bells and whistles you need to streamline sales and marketing operations, without needing to be a tech whiz. They’re built to make your life easier, and they are more affordable than ever – in some cases, they’re free.
7. HR management
With all these digital tools powering the growth of your small business, you’ll soon start needing to hire new employees. Which means more employee contracts and onboarding, and more time spent managing everything from payroll to leave requests. Don’t worry, there are plenty of HR tools that do these jobs for you – freeing up your time to keep on building your business.
8. Data and analytics
As you start digitising all of these different areas of your business, you’ll start collecting that most precious of business commodities: data. The more data you collect, the more opportunities you gain to turn that data into gold – using it to drive decision-making, power innovation, and truly transform the customer experience. And the good news? There are some fantastic software tools out there that take care of the analytics for you. That is, analysing all the data you collect and delivering easy-to-understand reports and insights straight back to you.
9. Cloud storage
As you amass more and more data, where do you put it all? In the cloud, of course. Today’s cloud storage solutions are competitively priced and super secure. Most importantly, they enable easy access to all your mission-critical documents from wherever you are – helping you get business done on-the-go without worrying about leaving that important file behind.
10. Password and credential management
Last, but definitely not least, you’ll need a way to keep track of all the passwords you’re using to log into all the different systems and tools you’ve implemented. To help you avoid the risky temptation of using the same password for everything, use a password manager to generate complex passwords and, better still, store them for you in an ultra-secure place. These powerful tools can autofill passwords and enable additional authentication like fingerprint scans if required.
We hope you find this list useful. More importantly, we hope it frees up your time to focus on growing your business. Happy digitising!